Graham, Tom and Ian

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Closing courts will “provide better access to justice” says Cheadle’s Tory MP

by Lib Dem team on 1 September, 2015

Cheadle’s Conservative MP has claimed that closing courts will “provide better access to justice”.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Mary Robinson said

After these changes, over 95 per cent of people will still be able to reach their required court within an hour by car and those people living in Cheadle and Stockport can reach Manchester in 15 minutes by train and 45 minutes by bus.

We can only provide better access to justice if we take difficult decisions to reduce the cost of courts and reinvest the savings in a modernised service.

We don’t know whether she realises that Cheadle doesn’t have a train station, but it might be worth Mary doing what the Lib Dem team have done and take some time to understand what happens at Stockport’s Magistrates’ Court.

If Stockport’s court closes, the family court closes. The youth court closes. Tribunals close. The county court closes. The adult magistrates court closes. The problem solving court closes. Police will have to spend more time ferrying defendants around Greater Manchester and many other people will have to spend a lot more time and money travelling.

People who would have come to the Stockport court will have to travel to Manchester or – in many cases – to Crewe. Both journeys take a lot longer and cost a lot more. (Contrary to Mary Robinson’s view, the Manchester court is not right next to Piccadilly Station and it takes a lot more than 15 minutes to get there).

In fact, nearly a third of magistrates (who are all volunteers) have said they will stand down instead of facing the extra commute.

The plan to close the Stockport courts is short-term and short-sighted. There’s a good chance it won’t even save any money. The Problem Solving Court already saves over £150,000 a year by avoiding people going to full court hearings.

Mary Robinson, our Conservative MP, might think this is all fine. She might think that closing courts will “provide better access to justice”. We do not. The Stockport Bench does not. If you agree with us and with the Stockport magistrates, please show your support by signing our petition opposing the court closure and cuts to police funding.




6 Responses

  1. Afzal Chaudhri says:

    It is very clear and obvious newly elected Conservative MP Mary Robinson, has NO idea of the implications, if Stockport Courts are closed down by Conservative Government.

  2. Garry says:

    Clearly she knows little about Cheadle. But then I doubt many in Cheadle village voted for her…
    I’ve heard little from her and what I have heard, like this is just bad.

  3. Alan Gent says:

    One presumes it was Bramhall “wot won it” for her, but her thinking is right alongside previous Tory thinking with a headline cut driven by ideology and little or no thought to the consequent costs or involvement.

  4. Arthur says:

    Let’s face it if it saves money we should back it. Will not affect law abiding people and if the Magistrates won’t travel then get new ones. I get fed up when people say we should save money but when it affect them they don’t like it. No further comment from me so if you feel like having a go you will get no reply.

    • Stuart Thompson says:

      Arthur is very naïve. Law abiding people are often the victims of criminals and have to spend many hours travelling to and from courts in order for justice to be done. Although they may get expenses this is poor recompense for the stress and inconvenience it causes them at a worrying time.
      It is very different for the accused who often welcome a trip out in a prison van as a diversion from the boredom of life as a remand prisoner – remember that transportation of remand prisoners is done at the expense of you, the taxpayer. This is yet another Tory-inspired false economy that will cost us all more than the problem it is supposed to rectify.

  5. Philip thomas says:

    Mary who ? Has she been any where near Cheadle since the election,nothing in the way of flyers or letters funny I must have had 10 or more letters or e-mails from David Cameron.prior to it !!

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